20 September – 21 October 2017
Beetles+Huxley are delighted to host the first exhibition in London to focus on Alec Soth’s critically acclaimed photographic series Sleeping by the Mississippi. One of the defining publications in the photo-book era, Sleeping by The Mississippi is a seminal body of work from the recent history of photography. The exhibition includes over twenty-five colour prints, including one never-before-exhibited photograph.
The exhibition coincides with the launch of the latest MACK edition of the book, which also includes two previously unpublished images. First published by Steidl in 2004, Sleeping by the Mississippi was Soth’s first book, sold through three editions, and established him as one of the leading lights of contemporary photographic practice. Evolving from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River between 1999 and 2002, Sleeping by the Mississippi captures America’s iconic yet often neglected ‘third coast.’ Soth’s richly descriptive, large-format colour photographs present an eclectic mix of individuals, landscapes, and interiors.
Like Robert Frank’s classic The Americans, Sleeping by the Mississippi merges a documentary style with poetic sensibility. The Mississippi is less the subject of the book than its organising structure. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, the series is created out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust. Thirteen years since the book was first published, the artist’s lyrical view has undoubtedly acquired new meanings – ones in which hope, fear, desire and regret coalesce in the evocative journey along this mythic river.